PUTRAJAYA, Nov 30 — The Department of Environment (DoE) requires an additional 3,000 enforcement personnel compared to the existing 1,100 personnel, taking into account the workload and the number of pollution incidents in the country, said its Director-General Datuk Wan Abdul Latiff Wan Jaffar.
During an interactive session with the media here today, he stated that this is due to the broader scope of DoE’s responsibilities, including the control of air and water pollution, management of toxic waste, and the quality of river and marine water, which require a larger number of monitoring and enforcement officers.
He said DoE has submitted a request to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change for the additional enforcement personnel to ensure that monitoring and enforcement tasks are carried out more effectively.
He noted that the increase in the number of personnel can also assist DoE in continuing monitoring of nearly 60,000 factories and workshops that have the potential to cause air and water pollution, considering that the awareness level of industry players has not yet reached a satisfactory level.
Wan Abdul Latiff also stated that 29 out of 672 rivers, or four per cent of rivers in Malaysia, are polluted, with the main causes of pollution in these 29 rivers including livestock farms, industries, sewage treatment plants, and settlements of fishermen and squatters.
He mentioned that DoE is also in the process of increasing the number of automatic stations for monitoring river water quality compared to the current 30 stations.
“We are currently studying this further, and we are also in the process of further discussions with state governments and possibly water treatment plant operators for them to join us in installing automatic stations,” he said.
The stations aim to monitor river water quality and provide early warnings in case of river water pollution incidents. — Bernama